Brain signal recordings with epidural microarrays constitute a low-invasive approach for recording distributed neuronal signals. Epidural field potentials (EFPs) may serve as a safe and highly beneficial signal source for a variety of research questions arising from both basic and applied neuroscience. A wider use of these signals, however, is constrained by a lack of data on their specific information content. Here, we make use of the high spatial resolution and the columnar organization of macaque primary visual cortex (V1) to investigate whether and to what extent EFP signals preserve information about various visual stimulus features. Two monkeys were presented with different feature combinations of location, size, shape, and color, yielding a total of 375 stimulus conditions. Visual features were chosen to access different spatial levels of functional organization. We found that, besides being highly specific for locational information, EFPs were significantly modulated by small differences in size, shape, and color, allowing for high stimulus classification rates even at the single-trial level. The results support the notion that EFPs constitute a low-invasive, highly beneficial signal source for longer-term recordings for medical and basic research by showing that they convey significant and reliable information about constituent features of activating stimuli.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience